Goodbye to all that, and more

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Fruits of the earth, shared and eaten, seeds strewn carelessly. Saplings sprout into trees only to be cut down senselessly by incontinence of spirit. Words imprison and images seduce the dream of wanting, feeling, longing to be apart from the menagerie of people each jostling for space on a planet hurtling in time. And as one imaginary year ends, another begins to creep slowly upon an aging life, engaging the sullen spirit of selfishness.

New Year expectations are like dumb charades, we keep guessing and attempting to interpret what is the obvious staring us in the face. The inebriated soul often finds solace in plastic reality that is soulless in spirit and purpose. The fragile membrane of existence quivers to the intrusive effect of remembrances.

Why does the past continue to nag and the future play truant with one and all? Is this  a senile Divine Being playing tic tac toe to amuse the Self?

Sages suck on the nectar of la dolce vita whilst mendacity mangles our memories.
Where does it begin and end? And is there a beginning and an end?
Or, is this a freak of nature in the Universal womb?

Days, months, years and millennium are man made for in the grand scheme of things Time is not relative…it is love.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

The Devil’s Advocate for President Obama

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I am the Devil’s Advocate for President Obama.

2010 has been a year of humiliation with the Republicans thrashing his party at the hustings and other incidentals like security leaks that have trickled into a raging stream of column space, a media blitzkrieg; The ongoing revelations igniting hatred and warped nationalism that continues to mingle with the debris of happenings of yesteryear, rewriting chapters of history that were assumed to be sacrosanct. And as torrents of data keep spewing out into the world-wide web contaminating the rarefied atmosphere of movers and shakers the recriminations begin to surface like piranhas snapping at prey.

Amidst this mayhem stands a Black man, a president of a country that refuses to accept the daunting reality that it is palpably on the verge of becoming a second class nation. It was barely a few years ago that Obama’s election impregnated the nation with hope for a better future.  His detractors across the globe grudgingly acknowledged his presence. Citizens believed that this Black man was a shaman with a magic wand who could cure all ills by merely waving away the past Terms of his predecessor and its devastating effect on the country’s socio-economic- political infrastructure, where religion lurks menacingly in the cracks and crevices of a suspicious society.

The new broom swept despondency away, only to have it blown back by disillusionment by a people with a short memory and a penchant for quick fixes. A people living a dream…a day dream.

So who is this man, a Black who usurped a whites only prerogative?
Is he really a Black man with a White heart, as some have quipped?
Or is he the great Black Hope for a White America?

His Party thought him a safe bet to win the election and he did. The Blacks perceived him as the great Black Hope, giving them a sense of exclusivity. And the rest of the world, in parts, imagined that Obama would redraw the profile of a nation that had assumed the unsolicited and self-righteous role of an international gendarme with its unilateral diplomatic and military actions.

All this didn’t fructify as envisaged.

Admittedly he didn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. And the acceptance speech justifying war as a means to an end – one of peace – was unpalatable for many who were aware of the fact that Obama is a self professed admirer of Mahatma Gandhi and his belief in Ahimsa (non-violence). It is also an accepted fact that platitudes and conciliatory overtures do not win wars or enemies in this age of deep-rooted septic religious fundamentalism.

My client has become a prisoner of his own party and people. The belief that there is no such thing as a Free Lunch is apparent – Obama being coerced into approving sweet tax cuts for the Haves while making the average American sweat for the basics. Joblessness is the order of the day. And young soldiers continue to die on a foreign battlefield fighting for an alien cause.

Obama is a self made man who is attempting to make a sea change but is being held prisoner by the very system that installed him in the whitehouse – all pervasive influence of Corporations and their sidekicks, politicians.

Some compare him to JFK and the Vietnam fiasco. But this is not so for he is an adroit funambulist who reckons that humanity is basically good and that with statemanship and negotiation  situations can be controlled and improved upon. He believes in an America that is morally solvent, a country that can rise pheonix like from the ashes of past deeds and coexist harmoniously with the rest of the world. But the wolves around hold him responsible for the inheritance of bad faith and the effects of a consumer society run amuck. They pinion his beliefs and attempted acts of goodwill to that which is going horribly wrong whilst conveniently overlooking reality – that all this and more has been passed down to his presidency.

The masters of spin have successfully interpreted events to entrap Obama with a history he has played no part in.

History will absolve him.

In the meantime, I have advised my “client” to stay on the path of acceptance, forgiveness and understanding even when new revelations hit the newstands depicting the lies of truth. For without truth how can we discern a lie?

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Rise of McCarthyism in a new avatar?

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One has been witness to the dance of talking heads with a mob mentality that derides and threatens what Wikileaks has done, is doing and hopefully will continue to do. Yes, we are talking about the hysteria in USA generated by the exposure of secret documents.

The dirty linen keeps coming out at regular intervals much to the chagrin of these folk. Apparently there is an ongoing discussion about using the Espionage Act of 1917 as a weapon to corral Julian Assange. It is rumoured that a Grand Jury is meeting to discuss this issue.  There appears to be a general political consensus with this method of imposing the American Will on an Australian citizen for crimes against the homeland.

The ground swell of antipathy towards Wikileaks in government/private circles gives the distinct impression that McCarthyism in an insidious avatar is returning to haunt the freedom loving people of America. All the signs are there. Pseudo-nationalism spiced by the desire to reach out and incarcerate anyone that is perceived as a threat to America’s security…the us and them syndrome.

So what will the Real America do?
Will self respecting citizens challenge this upsurge?
Will lawsuits and protest rallies emerge from the woodwork of its society?
Or will apathy take its toll?

I suppose Time and its rancid cousin, history will tell us in due course.
In the mean time, May God Save America from these people.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

In defense of Julian Assange

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What is the truth behind the leaks?
Why does Julian Assange do what he does?
Who is responsible for the leaks and what will be the repercussions?
Is this manifestation of the Ego, self-destruction or colon cleansing of society?

I suppose history always decides this in hindsight but in the meantime let us speak in defense of Julian Assange, a knight out of Camelot, seeking the right to expose the truth thereby endangering his life for the sake of cyberspace freedom.

The publication of embassy cables, secret communication between politicians and government officials across the globe has come as a ray of hope for those who seek the truth in world affairs. Interestingly, it has impacted individual pride, exposed skewered government directives, and enlightened all to the prevalent political septicemia e.g. politicians appearing in the media saying one thing while missives to their respective governments reflecting the opposite. The mask is off. The pantomine has become a parody of puerile political shenanigans.

Julian Assange is not a criminal though he has been a wayward computer hacker in the past. This should not be held against him or used as an excuse to brand him a spy, traitor or a thief. For want of a better word he is the sorcerer of revelations – unfettered by social structures and conditioned perspectives of a modern society. Assange is the new age gladiator fighting against overwhelming odds; his sword being Wikileaks that delivers the message of truth in the macrocosm of the internet. He probably knows he is a dead man walking.

Those against this knight who cannot refute the damning evidence seek to discredit him by attempting to incarcerate this harbinger of truth on charges that have no bearing in the realm of exposures; And through his prosecution hope to enforce the laws of an alien land. Many hyper ventilating citizens of this alien land have shouted for his assassination and have suggested unspeakable retribution. This attempt at enforcing world domination is thinly disguised as concern for national security.  Sadly, it emanates from a land that is often perceived as the personification of Freedom and the First Amendment.

Humanity has spoken in a devastating manner to deliver the message that a new world is dawning and it is for the people, by the people and with the people.  We are witnessing a revolution in the ongoing evolution of cyberspace and individual freedom. The frontiers of Free Speech are pushing further towards a brave new world that could lead to a Village Earth i.e. humanity as one, living in peace, without the unnatural warped boundaries of countries and heady political concoctions.

But before this can happen, we are all on trial and the outcome depends on the acquittal of Julian Assange.

Please let truth prevail.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Good on ya Kevin Rudd for standing up for Julian Assange, a son of Australia!

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A news report in the guardian.co.ukThank you Guardian !

Assange ‘not responsible for security breaches’ says Kevin Rudd

James Meikle guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 December 2010 11.04 GMT
Article history Legal liability lies with US, says Australia’s foreign minister Kevin Rudd, and not WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Australia‘s foreign minister said the US government and whoever originally leaked 250,000 diplomatic cables should bear the responsibility for any security breaches – not the Australian WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

Kevin Rudd said legal liability rested with the initial leakers and Assange should be protected from threats to his safety as the US stepped up pressure on companies and organisations with ties to WikiLeaks.

His comments came after the Sydney Morning Herald published leaked cables in which US diplomats described Rudd, then Australia’s prime minister, as a mistake-prone control freak with a tendency towards making “snap announcements without consulting other countries or within the Australian government”. Rudd dismissed the criticism, saying that it was “like water off a duck’s back”.

Assange, who was arrested in London yesterday, faces extradition to Sweden for alleged sexual assaults, but Rudd took the offensive against the US over the leaks. “Mr Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorised release of 250,000 documents from the US diplomatic communications network,” Rudd told Reuters.

“The Americans are responsible for that. I think there are real questions to be asked about the adequacy of their security systems and the level of access that people have had to that material over a long period of time.”.

“The core responsibility, and therefore legal liability, goes to those individuals responsible for that initial unauthorised release,” he said.

“There is a separate and secondary legal question … which is the legal liabilities of those responsible for the dissemination of that information, whether it’s WikiLeaks, whether it’s Reuters, or whether it is anybody else.”.

His robust remarks in interviews with the Reuters news agency and Seven network coincided with the publication of an opinion piece by Assange in the Australian in which the WikiLeaks founder accused Australian authorities of “pandering” to the US and being prepared to harass WikiLeaks supporters and “frame” an Australian citizen.

Rudd said today that Australia would provide Assange with consular assistance after a request by him to the country’s high commission in London. “That is the proper thing to do for any Australian citizen,” he said.

Julia Gillard, who toppled Rudd in June, yesterday called WikiLeaks actions “grossly irresponsible” but said publication would not have been possible “if there had not been an illegal act undertaken” in the US. However, she made clear Australian authorities were still investigating whether Assange had broken any Australian laws.

Assange says he has faced calls for his assassination, among other threats. Rudd said: “We’d be concerned about the safety and security of all Australians. People should be free from any such threats.”

Asked what governments should do in response to the leaked cables, Rudd said: “Rule No 1 for our friends in the United States is – how do you tighten things up a bit?

“I think that’s a fair old question. Maybe 2 million or so people having access to this stuff is a bit of a problem.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the leaked cables show how US diplomats initially saw Rudd as a “safe pair of hands,” but the favourable impression was soon replaced by criticism of his apparent focus on media opportunities and a string of “foreign policy mistakes.”

Rudd dismissed the criticism of his own “micro-management” in leaked cables, saying: “I don’t, frankly, give a damn about this sort of thing. You just get on with it.”

Gillard defended Rudd, telling reporters today: “Kevin Rudd is a man who throughout his adult life has devoted himself to expertise in foreign policy. He’s bringing that expertise to bear for the Australian nation and doing an absolutely first-class job.”

 

Interview – Matthew van Ortton – the super tramp

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Pic by Mark Ulyseas

It was nice to be in love with you
As if poetry was a kind of healing love
While you were still holding to your book
I thought we were like Karla and Lin
Beautiful bitter peach and lovesick crook

It was so nice to be with you old friend
Depression, migraines , pregnancy and loss
While you were holding god knows what
I knew I couldn’t comfort you, instead
I wrote poetry that wasn’t so good…

Matthew Van Ortton
Super Tramp & poet

There appears to be a new breed of scribes gallivanting the globe who are peddlers of prose and poetry. They tramp across countries in a makeshift bubble that, in a manner, preserves the integrity of their outpourings.

Their verse is childlike, naive and usually self obsessed. Inspiration is derived from intensely personal experiences with the opposite and/or same-sex. Some draw on the life and works of long dead poets imagining or attempting to ape the lifestyle of the illustrious; while at the same time desperately trying to carve a niche in the matrix of modern society.

Matthew is a tramp in the making, infected by the life of William Davies, the Super Tramp and Poet. I met him (Matthew) at Paulo’s Antique Bar in Bardez over a glass of Shiraz and a smoke from Hell to discuss his passion for composing 10 minute poems (poems that are conceived in ten minutes flat), bathroom rhymes and contemplative verse.

His spelling is atrocious…dictation a curious mix of Dutch and English…Bohemian in dress and an attitude to match. All in all an interesting individualist detached from the ebb and flow of the high street and its parading clones.

Born Matthew Malecki in Poland (1970). He has lived in Harlem (Holland), Reggio (Calareia, Italy), South Beach Florida (USA), Cornwall (UK) and elsewhere. He was married, fathered two children and divorced, leaving the comfort of home and hearth to travel the world. On the way he met a fine lady and set up home in Cornwall, only to leave all behind once again to circumnavigate village earth.

“I know this appears to be the actions of a deluded mind but this is not so. You see my grand mother was an Italian gypsy. Maybe I carry her spirit within me, a lust for the luscious life,  wanderlust that seduces one and diverts attention from the prosaic.”

Why do you write poetry?

Writing poetry is akin to floating, like a ship sailing on a quiet sea, the waves of inspiration caressing the bow of the vessel – my mind. Therefore, whenever I compose verse it instills a sense of quietude, and as each poem is born fresh from a fertile mind it is like a celebration of thought. The feeling is one of sheer pleasure.

And your inspiration, where does it come from?

There are two halves…one is from Leah, the woman I abandoned in Cornwall with the resultant residual vibrating emotions…and the second is from Nature, its beauty and tranquility.

Why do you write in English?

I speak and write in Italian, German, Polish and English. But I write in English because this language, for me, is the only one that has a versatility and subtlety that makes it an exciting medium for poetry.

What are you working on, now?

My first anthology of sixty poems – very personal. It reflects what happened to Leah and me with glimpses of Nature to convey the sense of peace that I have found.

You know love is peace – a state of existence, placidness of the soul that lulls one into the deep recesses of Oneness. Here in India I have found a love in the people that transcends their destitution – inspite of their poverty they smile at you and continue to maintain a happiness that defies logic.

After publication of your anthology, any future plans?

I’m a man
Without a plan
Interested in everything
Committed to nothing

Matthew is a poet that still needs to marinate in life to achieve maturity in verse and deed. And he will get there in time with quill in hand and peace in his heart, hopefully.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om